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SWISH (See Well to Stay In ScHool: Randomised trial of spectacle distribution to secondary school children with myopia to increase academic high school attendance rate in rural communities)

Project Description

The SWISH study (See Well to Stay In ScHool) is a Randomised trial of spectacle distribution to secondary school children with myopia to increase academic high school attendance rate in rural communities.

Rural Chinese children have high myopia prevalence, but poor access to glasses. Non-vocational high school attendance is only 30% in rural western China. We aim to determine if providing free glasses to myopic rural Chinese students, with a teacher incentive to promote use, increase high-school attendance.

The study is a multidisciplinary which is a collaborative project of Queen’s University Belfast, Ningxia University, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Hospital and Stanford University. In this cluster-randomised trial, we will randomly choose 130 middle schools in Ningxia, western China. Years-1 and 2- children at each school will be randomly allocated into either getting free glasses, with teachers encouraging them to wear the glasses (Intervention) or, getting just glasses prescriptions (Control). We want to know whether our intervention results in more children going on to high school. We will also look at the children’s test scores, how often they use blackboards or textbooks for learning, their wearing compliance, and how costs-effective it is to give the glasses and the teacher support to wear them.

The studentship will cover tuition fees, stipend and opportunity to work with experts in public health and eye health.


Candidates should have or expect to obtain a 2:1 or higher Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant public health, psychology, economics or social sciences subject.


Clinical training in optometry or ophthalmology

English Language

Candidates applying from countries where the first language is not English should produce evidence of their competence through a qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL score.

The minimum recommended score for the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science is:
• IELTS score of 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in each of the four component elements of listening, reading, speaking and writing taken within the last 2 years;
• TOEFL score of 80+ (internet basted test), taken within the last 2 years, with minimum component scores of; Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20, Writing 17);
• A valid Certificate of Proficiency in English grade A or B;
• A valid Certificate of Advanced English grade A; or
• A first or upper second class honours degree from a university based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or other suitably quality assured location in a country deemed by the UK Border Agency to be majority English speaking.

For a list of English Language qualifications also accepted by the School and University please see the following link:

INTO Queen’s English Language Courses offers both pre-sessional and in-sessional courses in English for academic purposes and study skills. Courses vary in length and full information can be obtained at:

Funding Notes

*FUNDING CONFIRMED – Department for the Economy (DfE) Award*

Eligibility for both fees (£4,327 for 2019/20, 2020/21 TBC) and maintenance (£15,009 for 2019/20, 2020/21 TBC) depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK resident or those EU residents who have lived permanently in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship.

Non UK residents who hold EU residency may also apply but if successful may receive fees only.

For further details re eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) please click on the following link: View Website


Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Public Health, website for further details about the Centre:

When applying, please choose 'MEDICINE' as your subject area/School.

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